The evolution of TouchWiz: 5 years of change
TouchWiz first debuted on the original Samsung Galaxy S in 2010. This very first mass-adopted version had already undergone prior development and launched as TouchWiz 3.0. Interestingly, it then ran on Android 2.1 Eclair, and later on - Android 2.2 Froyo.
Then, the Galaxy S II arrived bringing an hugely-redesigned TouchWiz 4.0, the first version of the skin to support hardware acceleration. It was this exact version that first started adding those typical for Samsung fancy (but often times gimmicky as well) gestures and motions. On the Galaxy S II, you could place two fingers on the display and tilt it in and out to zoom in and out in images for instance.
The following Samsung Galaxy S III brought even more such features in the completely refashioned TouchWiz Nature UX. The year was 2012 and the S III was the launchpad for the now signature Samsung water-ripple effect and similarly ‘organic’ system sounds. The new features it brought included eye-tracking with Smart Stay that turns off the display when you don’t look at it.
Then, the Galaxy S4 included only slight modifications to the Nature UX base Samsung set with the S III. Samsung unveiled the S4 with much fanfare in New York City’s iconic Radio City Hall, and TouchWiz was all about new eye-tracking and motion sensing features.
Finally, we reach the current time where the Galaxy S5 reigns supreme with its refreshed TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0, a hugely evolved skin that stakes keeps the Nature base, but adds elements from Tizen to mix the two design languages. Here is how that evolution of TouchWiz happened throughout the years, all through the lens of Galaxy S series smartphones.
The home screen
The app drawer
Typing: the keyboard experience
Phonebook: all your contacts
1. koko1 (Posts: 92; Member since: 03 Dec 2013)
from the ground to the sky *-*
apple needs 7 years to make a simple change in their ui !
41. CyberFalcon (Posts: 73; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)
Great God i thought Samsung didnt make any change till now, but they changed the background image in every version...
Dont forget this samsung haters... :P
42. akki20892 (Posts: 3222; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Nothing has change. Except touchwiz versions.
2. bokimaricu (Posts: 33; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)
5 years of ugliness and rubbing word "compromise" in your face. Android wasn't meant to be this ugly.
5. JC557 (Posts: 817; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
It's a design Samsung stuck with since Windows Mobile days. I did hate the use of earthy colors in the Droid Charge Touchwiz, especially the brown. Other than that it is a decent skin. It added some functionality in the old Foryo to Gingerbread days but a bit bloated.
11. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2546; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Exactly what i was going to comment sire +1
18. koko1 (Posts: 92; Member since: 03 Dec 2013)
ugly ?? if the totchwiz ugly, what is beautiful ui ??
stupid and old fashioned sony & htc ui ? or apple's girlish ui ??
21. andonia2 (Posts: 27; Member since: 26 Jul 2013)
everybody is free to their own opinion dude.........
23. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2546; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Old fashioned huh seriously? Says the touchwiz fanboy. Touchwiz is still stuck in old eclairs days in terms of looks.
54. The13thKing (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
With every Galaxy I owned since gingerbread GS2 touchwiz look and feel along with its features have always impressed me .. and they have always been updated .. anyways why change it when it's loved by most people?
28. bokimaricu (Posts: 33; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)
I would say stock Android UI. I don't prefer any UI except stock, but TouchWiz is just plain horrid.
35. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3857; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I would say stock Android and HTC Sense are the best looking variations of Android available. It's all opinions though, you can think Touchwiz looks nice, that's fine, but not everyone will agree with you, me included.
58. NinjaBanana (Posts: 24; Member since: 20 Apr 2014)
What's wrong with girls? I like girls. They're hot. But you wouldn't know.
29. SleepingOz (unregistered)
TW might be ugly to some but when it comes to functionality and features, no other UI comes close!
36. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3857; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
But all those features and functionality come at a cost; bad performance on anything other than the highest performing hardware. Or at least that was the case a short time ago, we haven't really seen the newer version of Touchwiz on lower grade hardware yet, I hope it's improved.
70. The13thKing (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
I have a midrange spec'ed Galaxy Mega 6.3 and everything runs smooth and fast on it. ALL apps ALL games, I mean the 16 Gbs are full. Never had any lag or any bad performance .. You people like to invent stuff .. seriously now.
62. __0__ (Posts: 208; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)
I have the GS1 , GS2 and Note 3 .
The touchwiz on the GS1 is unbearable really , once I went with Cyanogen mod I didn't want to go back .
Touchwiz 4.0 is decent , but still quite ugly and slow compared to cyanogen mod .
Now that I am using the note 3. I am not sure if I want cyanogen mod on my phone anymore .
40. CyberFalcon (Posts: 73; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)
You cant just say like "5 year of ugliness" dude
please be more specific.
The Evolution of TouchWiz
Ugliest < Uglier < very ugly < ugly < still ugly
43. ravi5695 (Posts: 45; Member since: 11 Feb 2011)
actually... not ugly but the best ui an android user can get.... i love touchwiz and all its features...
59. NinjaBanana (Posts: 24; Member since: 20 Apr 2014)
I hate touchwiz and all it's features! :D
46. express77 (unregistered)
Even though it is ugly, its the best thing that happened to android. But they seriously needs to work on both their touchwiz and phone's design.
50. The13thKing (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
please tell me how the brand you like is selling and how everybody loves it.
64. fireblade (Posts: 626; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)
yea, stock KitKat launcher is still better
33. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Lol...basically. From their UI to dumb decisions they made with the file stsyem that made their early GS phones lag....it was easy to see why many root, ROM folks liked Samsung so much...it was so much to make better by rooting.
Yea...Samsung had the killer specs too, that also helped with their popularity.
47. express77 (unregistered)
5 years of rooting and deleting bloatwares. No need to change ROM as Launchers works without root.
4. wenhuifc (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Apr 2014)
make another post about sense's evolution and compare it with touchwiz please
6. FriendsOfSamsung (unregistered)
Samsung galaxy is the only android phone worth to be buy, thanks to the featuristic touchwiz interface
27. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7244; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Sense 6 is the only UI I'll ever use besides TouchWiz. There's a G2 in my house and the UI is way too cluttered.
Functionality is where TouchWiz shines.
51. The13thKing (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
lmaooooooooo says a glorious lg owner :')
68. bokimaricu (Posts: 33; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)
Well my not-so-glorious LG has cyanogenmod 11 (4.4.2) so no LG crap and bloatware on top of it. Unless you are trying to mock me for having a cheap phone, then I would say go for it :)
17. Orion78 (Posts: 7; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)
Ummm no. Thank God there's other options than dealing with this TW abomination. Friends of Samsung huh? Lmao.
34. mrblah (Posts: 389; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)
Yes, Friends, you two are very, very "special" friends.
7. GreekGeek (Posts: 300; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)
Still no extra Homescreen customizations like scrolling wallpaper and custom icon/grid alignments.
argh, these_ simple_ things!
I prefer simplicity and straightforwardness over fancy, flashy eyecandy .....MIUI > Touchwiz
8. xsoft7 (Posts: 12; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)
and yet. touchwiz is the only UI to get stuck, no matter what hardware you have, whether it's galasxy s1 or s5. switch to AOSP and suddenly you have a brand NEW and FAST phone!
9. mercorp (Posts: 966; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)
Touchwiz actually came earlier than that,in Samsung's 2009 feature touchscreen phones
12. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1647; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
I prefer sense, over touchjiz any day..
13. Ishtiaque99 (Posts: 11; Member since: 15 Apr 2014)
Samsung touchwiz Is the best custom UI among all.
20. dratomic (Posts: 423; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)
i buy samsung because of tws functionality. i dont know why people who hate it think sammy should listen to them. theyre only a minority.
52. The13thKing (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
Yes, because they don't even exist... sadly.
25. FriendsOfSamsung (unregistered)
14. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5362; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Thanks Victor for a nice article! :)
15. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2546; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
I generally hate OEM skins and just flash cyanogenmod ROM. But i'm impressed by sense 6 its beautiful except the app drawer and task switcher.
22. nothingmuch (Posts: 150; Member since: 03 May 2013)
Me personally dont mind TW, its what drew me to Samsung galaxy phones from the beginning! And still with'em!
26. AfterShock (Posts: 2005; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
Until OEM make a setting to switch all of OEM GUI to off, I'll do anything I can to avoid those with a GUI.
I know, GPE an Nexus are the solutions, though a setting to shut OEM crap off would be a better solution imo, at least as far as OEM GPE devices go.
30. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2546; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Cyanogenmod and all other CM based custom ROMs are superior in every way to touchwiz.
32. Anchorman86 (Posts: 15; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)
TouchWiz makes me have to pee...to me Sense has always been better. Sense 6 is everything an android skin should be. A compliment, not a distraction.
53. The13thKing (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)
what's sense 6? is it a washing machine...?
37. bestmvno (Posts: 104; Member since: 07 Mar 2014)
I think some important information was left out in regards to the keyboards. Wasn't the s2 keyboard using official swype? The s3 keyboard used Samsungs swype method, and didn't the s4 become swifkey based?
38. XaErO (Posts: 133; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)
Touchwiz is a great skin on top of android when it comes to features and easy interface.
But Samsung really need to focus on it's "Performance" ..
it is slow compared to Sony & HTC's UI skins.
I also feel, Samsung need to focus on it's slow UI animations (animations are quite slow).